Not only can 15 year-olds vote in the Neighborhood Council election; I believe that we should view this act of voting as a tangible lesson for every young person who qualifies.
Voting is the most critical action that citizens can perform in a republic like ours, where we want our elected officials to serve our interests on countless issues that affect our every day lives. Therefore I believe that voting at 15 and up is an important precedent for every person who qualifies.
In Los Angeles, Neighborhood Councils are part of the city government, and council members are elected officials. Through the network of Neighborhood Councils our city brings government closer to the people who live and work here, and even to those whose “stake” in the area is through participation in activities here. Voting requires have a “stake” in the community – even for voters who are not yet US citizens, and cannot vote for more distant elected seats.
Do kids have ideas about the local services and facilities they use and depend on? Do they have ideas about the kind of neighborhood they want this to be? Of course they do, and we need to listen to those ideas. Sometimes we will benefit directly in the short term from great ideas. But even more importantly, in the long run we will benefit from having involved citizens.
Are you 15 or 16, and reading this? Are you questioning my point, or perhaps accepting it and wondering about why you should cast your vote for me, or have an issue you want me to champion, please call or write? My email address and phone number are at the bottom of every page in this website.